YOUR ADVENTURE AWAITS
September 8-15, 2019
South Africa is a country rich in natural resources. It boasts some of the planet’s most extraordinary scenery and wildlife. South Africans are known for their hospitality, and living standards are, for some, much higher than those elsewhere in Africa. At the same time, political events are moving rapidly, and major economic and social problems pose complex challenges.
• 2 nights in the scenic Cape Winelands
• 3 sojourn in urbane, cultured Cape Town
• 2 nights in historic Johannesburg
• 3 night safari option to Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve
Our itinerary allows you to see South Africa through a variety of lenses: historic, economic, cultural and scenic. Our aim, as always, is a unique SIBF blend of high-level content, person-to-person contact with local business and community leaders, unparalleled cultural experiences—and a few surprises.
TAVERN OF THE SEAS
We begin in Cape Town, on the shore of Table Bay. It was established in the mid-1600s by the Dutch East India Company as a supply station for Dutch ships sailing to East Africa, India, and the Far East. Cape Town is the country’s legislative capital, famous for its harbor, for its stunning natural outlying areas, and for such beloved landmarks as Table Mountain. It is also one of the world’s most multicultural cities, long a draw for immigrants and expatriates. SIBF member and Capetown resident Jock McKenzie (South Africa, ’96) and his lovely wife Liz will be our local on the ground Ambassadors.
Our hotel in Cape Town is the sophisticated Cape Grace. Perfectly situated on a private quay along the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, it overlooks the international yacht basin. The hotel is consistently ranked as one of the top luxury hotels in Africa.
Highlights include an opening African food safari dinner, business and government panel discussions, dinner in the private home of a local business leader, a tour of the scenic Cape Peninsula with its splendid views of the Atlantic where we will see a penguin or two and a visit to the architecturally stunning Zeitz museum, the dominant arts institution on the continent.
OLD WORLD MADE NEW
Next, there’s time in the Cape Winelands. Commander Jan van Riebeeck planted the first vines here in 1655. They grew surprisingly well. When King Louis XIV of France revoked the Edict of Nantes guaranteeing religious tolerance in 1685, 150 French Huguenots (Protestants) emigrated to the Cape between 1688 and 1690. With them came their savoir-faire for grape growing and wine-making, and they were given land in the Franschhoek area to cultivate. From this 350-year-old history comes a wine tradition with its roots in the Old World ways of France, Germany, and Italy, but also with an awareness for the contemporary consumer defined by wine-making in California and Australia. As of 2016, in terms of world wine production, South Africa ranks seventh in overall volume, and it produces 3.9 percent of the world’s wine.
Begin with a private tour of the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden on the slopes of Stellenbosch Mountain. A South African artist, Lewis has emerged as one of the foremost figures in contemporary sculpture. He is one of only a handful of living artists to have had more than one solo auction with Christie’s in London.
During a number of private tastings at several wine estates, we educate our palates on the subtleties of South African wines. We also hear from a local wine judge. Aside from wine, the Cape Winelands are also known for exceptional gastronomy. During several lunches and dinners, we experience a range of innovative cuisine that incorporate everything from foraged wild vegetables and game to global tapas based on seasonal local ingredients and contemporary “terroir cuisine.”
In the Cape Winelands, we divide into two marvelous properties in the quaint, historic village of Franschhoek - Le Quartier Francais and Leeu House.
PLACE OF GOLD
Fly from Cape Town to Johannesburg, the nation’s largest city and provincial capital. Today, this city in South Africa’s northeast quadrant is known as—among other things—the hometown of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Our home base is the lovely all-suite Saxon Hotel. A luxurious oasis on 10 landscaped acres in Johannesburg’s Sandhurst neighborhood. Nelson Mandela stayed here after prison, and it was here that he wrote his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.
Johannesburg is also home to the Constitutional Court of South Africa. It was originally established as the highest appellate court for constitutional matters. Since the enactment of the Superior Courts Act in 2013, the Constitutional Court has jurisdiction to hear any matter it chooses in the interests of justice. Its 11 judges are appointed by the President of South Africa and serve 12-year terms. During our visit, we have a discussion with a judge who was hailed by Nelson Mandela as “one of South Africa’s new heroes.” We follow up with a private tour of the court’s art collection, whose creation is altogether unique.
Then a day of discovery in and around Johannesburg. To the Apartheid Museum for a clear historical perspective on the country’s modern history. Next, a look forward. Visit the Maboneng Precinct urban regeneration project, which calls itself “a place of inspiration—a creative hub, a place to do business, a destination for visitors, and a safe, integrated community for residents. A beacon of strength in Africa’s most economically prosperous city.”
Optional Extension -Sabi Sands Game Reserve
September 15-18 , limited availability
On our three-night safari extension to Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa, we will stay at the esteemed Londolozi Camp. Consistently nominated as one of the world’s leading private game reserves and lodges, idyllic chalets with private plunge pools stand in the shade of ancient matumi trees along the banks of the Sand River. The Varty family values infuse every aspect of Londolozi’s service: the personal approach, commitment to conservation, and the ambience of simplicity and elegance.